Corporate Plan 2019-20 - Risk management and oversight
At IP Australia we look at risk and its management from two perspectives; one that considers events that may have a negative impact on our business (i.e. threats), and one that considers embracing some level of risk as an opportunity.
IP Australia faces a broad range of risks reflecting its responsibilities as an administrator and service provider for Australia’s IP rights system. These risks can affect:
- our reputation and our ability to deliver high quality IP rights
- our ability to behave strategically and meet government and public expectations of Australia’s IP system both now and in the future
- our financial stability as a cost-recovery agency
- our ability to ensure the well-being of people, including our workers and customers.
IP Australia’s risk appetite involves effectively managing uncertainty, not avoiding or eliminating risk. A higher risk appetite allows us to consider opportunities that involve the acceptance of some risk. Accordingly, IP Australia is prepared to pursue, retain or accept risk that has been well considered, thoroughly assessed and is managed and monitored appropriately. This is done in an open and transparent manner to reduce threats and seize opportunities for the benefit of the organisation.
IP Australia has a generally low appetite for any risk that will affect our delivery of robust, quality IP rights, workplace health and safety, security, fraud and provision of advice to Government. Our structure and resources are aligned to ensure that these risks are being managed to acceptable levels. We also recognise that it is not possible or necessarily desirable to eliminate some of the risks inherent in our other activities. This is particularly important regarding our business practices and the need to meet future public and government expectations for Australia’s IP system. To realise our vision of delivering a world leading IP system we have a high-risk appetite for strategic initiatives, business improvements, international engagement and new service delivery models.
The Director General is the Accountable Authority for IP Australia, has overall responsibility for ensuring an appropriate risk management framework is in place, and is ultimately responsible for our performance in managing risk. Implementation of the framework is delegated to the respective General Managers, with all staff responsible for the day-to-day management of risk. IP Australia’s Executive Board and the Audit Committee are responsible for risk management oversight.
The overall legal accountability for IP Australia’s performance and compliance with regulatory requirements rests with the Director General under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and through delegated authority under the Public Service Act 1999. IP Australia’s governance structure outlines the key decision-making and advisory committees established to advise and support the Director General in discharging responsibilities. These committees promote transparency, accountability and integrity and are supported by a centralised governance secretariat.